By Li Chunmei, South Korea
Some Christians believe “When the Lord returns, He will certainly appear to all of humanity on a cloud in a spiritual body. Any testimony about the Lord’s return as incarnate is false.” The author also held this belief, and so put her guard up when hearing that the Lord has become flesh to appear and work. How did she finally relax her guard and welcome the Lord’s return?
When believing in the Lord in China, I often heard pastors say, “Anyone who testifies that the Lord has returned in the flesh is false. We must be careful lest we be deceived and lose the chance of entering the heavenly kingdom. That’s becauserecords, ‘You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven’ (Acts 1:11). The ascended to heaven on a white cloud in the resurrected spiritual body, therefore when He returns He will surely appear to us coming on a cloud in a spiritual body.” I took these words to heart. In 2014, I came to South Korea, and after much consideration I chose to serve in a Presbyterian church. Uplifted by the Lord, I became a district leader in the church. I constantly reminded myself that I must be a good steward to look after the Lord’s sheep properly.
One day in June, 2018, two of my sisters and I visited Sister Li at her home for Bible study, and it just so happened that her niece, Sister Jin was there. Then we discussed the Bible together. I brought up many Bible verses which I had never understood before, and Sister Jin provided detailed explanations about each one of them, which I thought tallied with the Bible. Afterward, she fellowshiped these passages from the Bible, “For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22). “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come” (Revelation 14:7). She said that inthe Lord will return once more to do the stage of judgment work. And integrating the parables of separating the wheat and tares, sheep and goats, and the good and evil servants, she fellowshiped that through His work of judgment in the last days the Lord will separate the wheat from the tares, the sheep from the goats, the good servants from the evil. What she fellowshiped was fresh and accorded with the Bible, and it also brought me great enjoyment. At the conclusion of the Bible study, Sister Jin seriously said to us, “Sisters, did you know that the Lord Jesus whom we’ve long yearned for has already returned as Almighty God, the of the last days? He has been incarnated amongst men, and is expressing the truth and performing the work of judgment starting from God’s house.” Hearing this, my smile disappeared immediately. I thought, “The Lord Jesus has already returned? How could He become flesh to do His work? …” A succession of questions reminded me of what the pastors had said about “Anyone who testifies that the Lord has returned in the flesh is false.” As a result, I immediately got my guard up against Sister Jin, and no longer felt like listening. As we were leaving, she gave me a gospel leaflet, and sincerely exhorted me to read the book carefully, and I received the book for the sake of face.
After going back home, out of curiosity I opened the book and read a few pages, and I felt that these words contained authority and power. However, because what the pastors had said echoed in my ears again, I immediately put down the book and dared not read anymore. The following day, the two sisters came to me and said, “Sister Jin’s fellowship was very enlightening. Let’s go and listen more.” I replied, “It was indeed very enlightening. But the pastors often say that, the returned Lord Jesus will appear to work on a cloud in a spiritual body, and that we must guard against those who preach of the Lord’s return in the flesh.” The two sisters then said, “Since there was light in what she fellowshiped, we should thoroughly examine this way. Only then can we ascertain whether or not the Lord Jesus has returned.” Their words sounded reasonable, so I went with them to Sister Li’s home.
After seeing Sister Jin, I asked, “Sister, yesterday you said that the Lord Jesus has returned in the flesh. Where did you get this? Have you seen it?” She replied with a smile, “The Lord Jesus said, ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me’ (John 10:27). Therefore, in the study of the Lord’s return, we don’t have to see the returned Lord with our eyes, but instead we should base our studies on the words expressed by Him. Just like when the Lord Jesus came to work, Peter, Nathanael and Samaritan woman recognized from the Lord Jesus’ words that He was Christ. Likewise, through reading Almighty God’s words, we’ve seen that they carry authority and majesty, they can also expose the corruption hidden within man’s hearts and show us the path for how to receive purification and salvation. That’s why we are certain that the Lord Jesus has returned in the flesh as Almighty God, the Christ of the last days, and that the words of Almighty God are the utterances of the Holy Spirit.” Sister Jin then talked about some of her experiences, but I still guarded against what she said because I didn’t believe in the Lord’s return in the flesh. I then went online on my cellphone and searched for The Church of Almighty God (CAG). Some negative information immediately leaped out at me, and I said to Sister Jin at once, “It says online that your church is heretical, and can’t be believed in.” After hearing this, she began to play for us the movies and videos produced by CAG. While we were watching, she also fellowshiped to us, but I simply wouldn’t listen to her. Seeing my two sisters watching carefully, I couldn’t help but feel concerned. So I said to Sister Jin, “These two days, we’ve listened and watched much enough. Almighty God’s words are really good, but we can’t accept them right away. We need to make an investigation.” After listening to this, Sister Jin didn’t force us, and as we were about to leave, she invited us to go to CAG during our free time.
That night, as I was tossing around in my bed unable to sleep, I kept thinking about what Sister Jin had fellowshiped these two days. I thought, “Her fellowship about the biblical verses was full of light, and I had hardly heard such practical fellowship in all my years of faith. Should I continue to listen? If I blindly refuse and don’t investigate, on the off chance that Almighty God witnessed by them is the returned Lord Jesus, then won’t I totally lose the chance of entering the heavenly kingdom? But the pastors say clearly that when the Lord comes again, He can’t possibly become flesh. If I start believing wrongly, then won’t the lives of my brothers and sisters below be ruined? What am I to do?” With this in mind, I got up and prayed to the Lord, “O Lord! I feel very conflicted. Sister Jin told me that You have returned incarnate, but I’m not sure. If this way is true, please enlighten and guide me, allowing me to understand it. If not, may You reveal it and give me discernment, so that I can keep Your way and won’t betray You.”
The next day, I met Brother Wang of my church. He had believed in the Lord for many years and knew the Bible well; besides, he was very much in pursuit and was an assertive person. I then told him about Sister Jin’s testimony of the Lord’s return, and said that I wanted to listen to his viewpoints. Unexpectedly, after listening, he seriously said, “Sister, now is the key moment when the Lord returns. So, when hearing the testimonies about it, we must have reverence for God. We must not easily jump to conclusions but must humbly seek. When the Lord Jesus came, due to clinging to their notions, the Pharisees wantonly condemned the Lord’s work and even nailed Him to the cross. As a result, they incurred God’s curses and punishment. The Bible says, ‘So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Therefore, as for whether Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus, it’s necessary for us to make an investigation. Otherwise, if He really is the return of the Lord, we’ll be missing our opportunity to be raptured, and that will be a matter of lifelong regret. Let’s make time to go together to CAG to investigate.” I thought that his words made sense. With regard to the Lord’s arrival, I must have a God-fearing heart and not blindly come to conclusions. Only after listening to the way could I know whether it was true. With this in mind, I nodded my head and decided to go to CAG to investigate.
Several days later, Brother Wang, the two sisters and I went to CAG, where the brothers and sisters received us very warmly. After introductions, I told them about my worries and concerns, “Honestly speaking, what Sister Jin fellowshiped the two times was in line with the Bible and was very illuminating. But I couldn’t accept your testimony of the Lord Jesus’ return through incarnation, because it says in the Bible, ‘And then shall they seecoming in a cloud with power and great glory’ (Luke 21:27). This verse shows that when the Lord returns, it will be His resurrected spiritual body appearing to us with great glory. How could it be an incarnation?”
After hearing my words, a brother communicated this with me, “Sister, as for how the Lord appears to us and works when He comes again, except the verse you mentioned, there are many ones prophesying that the returned Lord will appear to us in the flesh. For instance: ‘Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you think not’ (Luke 12:40). ‘For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be’ (Matthew 24:27). ‘For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man in His day. But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation’ (Luke 17:24–25). All of these prophecies speak of ‘the Son of man comes’ or ‘the coming of the Son of man.’ The phrase ‘the Son of man’ refers to someone born to a human and with normal humanity. So the Spirit can’t be called the Son of man. For instance, because Jehovah God is Spirit, He cannot be called the Son of man. Angels are also spiritual beings, so they cannot be called the Son of man. All those that have the appearance of man but are composed of spiritual bodies cannot be called the Son of man. The incarnate Lord Jesus was called the Son of man and Christ because He was the incarnate flesh of God’s Spirit. Therefore ‘the Son of man comes’ and ‘the coming of the Son of man’ as spoken by the Lord Jesus refer to God returning in the flesh in the last days. In particular, the words ‘first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation’ stated in the Scriptures are further proof that the Lord will appear in the flesh when He returns. If it were the Lord’s resurrected spiritual body appearing to people with great glory, then who would dare to draw near or reject Him? In that case, He certainly wouldn’t endure a lot of suffering, much less be rejected by this generation.”
The brother’s fellowshiping was irrefutable, and I relaxed my guard a little. Afterward, the brother played for us a clip from a movie of CAG “The Mystery of Godliness”: The Mystery of the Coming of the Son of Man. After watching this video, I understood that when the Lord returns, He will first become flesh to work in secret. He will express the truth, perform the work of judgment and purification, and make a group of overcomers before the disasters. Only then will the Lord descend with clouds to openly manifest Himself to all nations and all peoples, and do the work of rewarding good and punishing evil. At that time, all those who resist Christ of the last days will meet the disasters weeping and gnashing their teeth. This fulfills the prophecy in the Bible, ‘Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him” (Revelation 1:7). After coming to this understanding, I no longer held on to the viewpoint “The returned Lord will appear to people on a cloud in a spiritual body.” However, I still didn’t understand why the Lord would return in the flesh to work, and so wanted the brother to continue communing.
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